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Popular Traditions of Santo António

Popular Traditions of Santo António

Culture, folklore, history

Discover lots of curiosities about this festivity!

In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are marvelous with lively festivities that take place in the city centre.

The famous Saint Anthony of Padua, has a church which is entirely dedicated to him. It is located in the Alfama region of the city where Saint Anthony grew up. It seems un-changed since those days with its winding cobblestone streets and it is easy to imagine him playing here.

Amor, casamento, fertilidade are the most important values as far as the cultural manifestations in the city are concerned.

Manjenico: The tradition explains that one should not smell the plant directly, because this makes it dry more quickly. Indeed, the correct way to feel their fragrance is moving your hands smoothly on the plant and smell your hands only afterwards.

Bailes: are really typical and fascinating as well over this period. They will take place in several parts of the cities, and that will make the city incredibly alive and festive.

Sardines: Over the period of celebrations, the Portuguese capital goes so many sardines. The winding streets and steep staircases in Alfama, the city’s oldest quarter, fill with the smell of sardines being grilled outside little houses and restaurants.

Along Avenida da Liberdade, from around 8h30 pm June 12th, there is the yearly parade, with people dressed up in amazing costumes. Each group embodies a Lisbon neighbourhood and there is a winner for the best costumes and song. There’s also the Saint Anthony’s brides (mass marriages).

Over the “Noite de Santo António” the whole city has colourful decorations, lights as well as plenty of food and drink. Moreover, music, dance and colours create an atmosphere of happiness which makes the city fantastic.

Finally, it is important to point out that there are “No rules” during that night! Everyone can open doors and windows to sell food and drinks as well as stay out all night with your friends!

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